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Thanksgiving in Cochrane

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. 

Robert Brault

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

Thanksgiving has always been a great holiday in my family. I remember stomping through the leaves at Woodhaven park with Mom, Dad and my siblings and then going for a delicious Ukrainian dinner at Granny and Grandpa's. You could smell the garlic as soon as you pulled into the driveway!

The pumpkin pie... Yum. One time, years ago when Ninja and I were on a Ross and Rachel (break) he lured me back into his seductive web by tempting me with his Mom's homemade pumpkin pie 😜.

One year we made pine cone turkeys and had my MBesty and PSBesty over for a delicious Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving has always been good to us.

My Sister's and my Dad's birthday usually fall on or near Thanksgiving, which makes it even more special!

Last year was my Dad's 60th and my Sis and Bro made it out to Penticton to help us celebrate. 🍻

This year we drove out to Cochrane to have a beautiful prairie autumn Thanksgiving/birthdays.


K, so I feel extra stupid here. I, the person who is usually so on top of things and organized, totally dropped the preparation ball. My Sis and I spent a week deciding what to do for a fun fall activity. She suggested the indoor trampoline park.

I suggested a pumpkin patch.

Obviously one should always bow to the local who knows the weather pattern of their home. Right?

Lesson learned.

She warned me that it would be cold. I looked at the weather app and yes, I realized it would be chilly. So I packed our big sweaters and our vests. πŸ™„

As we began our drive the first thing I realized was that I forgot the portable DVD player. If you have kids you understand the implications of that simple sentence.

I forgot the DVD player.


That should have been a red flag to me that perhaps I wasn't as prepared as I had thought.

To be honest it wasn't as bad as I am leading you to believe. I DID bring 1 DVD player... The old one... For 2 kids. Sucky. I ended up giving HBear my laptop in the back and SBean the old one in the middle. However, the adapter had trouble making contact with the converter, so it was touch and go there for a while 😳.


Ninja's tooth or lack there of, he got it pulled right before we left, was still bleeding off and on and was throbbing from the elevation changes. He was a trooper and drove the whole way despite offers from Dad and I.

As soon as we crossed into Alberta the snow began.

Another sign that I was ill prepared for our weekend in Alberta.

Come on, give me a break it is the beginning of October for cripes sake!

We finally made it through the rain and snow in time for birthday dinner with Sis, BIL and SweetPea!

They took us to this ah-mazing authentic Italian restaurant right in Cochrane called The Boot. Calamari, shrimp, a fantastic little Italian wine, pizza and pasta with a birthday tiramisu to finish. Delish!!!!!



The kids were ridiculously happy to see each other. Honestly I never knew that 3 little girls rushing to hug each other after 3 months apart, could bring me such peace, like all is right in the world.


We stayed up waaaaaay too late chatting but when you only get 85 hours together, every second counts.

The next day, after the glow of seeing my family began to neutralize, the grim reality set in.

It was winter outside. 🌨

We had tickets to the pumpkin patch that were non refundable and my warmest outdoor gear consisted of my Bench sweater and cute fashion boots. The girls only had sweaters and their silly leather booties.

Thank goodness my Sis and BIL had extra mitts, hats, and parkas for all of us!!!

I don't know what I was thinking! I feel so silly. Living in my little snowless globe I forget what it is like... Out there... On the frigid frontier πŸ˜‚. So cold!!! SBean has been begging for snow and she sure got what she wished for. To be honest it wasn't that cold, but we just went from +18 to -7 in less than 24 hours and it was shocking!

I hate being cold. Probably from my 30 years in Winnipeg, it left lasting scars on my psyche πŸ€”. The Girls are complete wimps too. They have BC blood running through their veins and snow before Christmas is basically unheard of.

For our first afternoon we went to Butterfield Acres and it was fabulous! The crisp air was invigorating, the snow covered trees sang to my heart, the mist was eerie but beautiful, and the kid's excitement was palpable.

I loved being on the farm. My Sis and I worked at a farm in our 20's. In the Spring we did tours, I looked after saddling the horses and took the children on a hayride. Sis taught the kids about her station, the llamas, donkey, and the miniature horse.

Over the summer they kept me on as a farmhand. I never felt more alive as I did cleaning the stalls, feeding the sows and moving straw bales. I was probably in the best shape of my life too 😜. In the fall they ran a haunted farm for the whole month of October. I worked the chip wagon and helped out up until I had HBear.

As the cold hit my lungs and I breathed in the smell of horses, I heard my Sis laugh, I glanced around at our kids holding hands while they tried to catch snowflakes in their little open mouths and I felt that feeling of home.


We took a hayride out to a field and the kids had to hunt for their pumpkins. After, we went inside a warm cabin and decorated our special finds!





After a stop at Nursery Rhyme Park the magic had begun to twinkle just a little bit less lol. SBean looked up at me, shivering and between clenched teeth said, "I'm freezing cold! Can we go home and get warm and have some hot cocoa?" ❄️

Poor warm bodied little kid.
As we were driving home my SBesty texted...


At home we turned on the fireplace, drank hot chocolate, and splashed in a hot bubble bath. My BIL made a phenomenal ham, honey glazed carrots and scalloped potato dinner. Potatoes with a pound of bacon and 3 cheeses, yes please!


The girls went to bed relatively easy that night considering sleepovers tend to make my kids turn into Mogwai after he has been to a midnight buffet. 😳 That night we played a hilarious game called, Telestrations seriously, so fun! I highly recommend!

For a late night snack we had... Bagels! My BIL totally spoiled me and managed to bake 2 dozen bagels after dinner. He makes bagels that are seriously life changing. When we left there was only 4 left πŸ˜‹

Our next day we were up early for a full day of... Shopping! When you come from a small town that has basically a Walmart and a Superstore for the latest fashions, a big city shopping mall is pretty damn exciting! We started at Costco and then headed to CrossIron Mills. It is a HUGE outlet mall. We tried to buy as many Xmas presents as we could to save on holiday shipping.

We got home 5 minutes before my Aunt, Uncle, Cousins and spouse rang the doorbell. We are so fortunate to have a close family that always goes out of their way to see us when we are in town. Despite the fact that the Jays were on! 😊 Although every man was upstairs and seated in front of the TV within 4 minutes of their arrival πŸ˜‚. The ladies stayed downstairs with the Presidential Debate.

Baseball vs the fate of the free world... Priorities πŸ˜‚

Ok so my family is very intellectual. Every time we are together we debate, cry, bring up completely taboo topics, cry, laugh, get angry, forgive, discuss, cry and leave feeling completely exhausted. I love it! I've said it before but I'll say it again, nothing makes me feel more like myself than being with my Peeps.


After pumpkin pie (yes we ate dessert but totally bypassed dinner lol) and the cousins left we got into a political discussion with my Aunt and my Uncle, the very successful engineer πŸ™„. My poor sister and Dad (both so not political) sat there glossed over for the next 2 1/2 hours πŸ˜‚. What I love most about political discussions with my family is that at the end of the discussion I still love them. Not only that but I still LIKE them. I may have even learned something!


Even though I had just seen them last month in Penticton, I loved seeing then all. Seeing them always makes me feel closer to my Mom. It's funny, I live in the town my Mom lived in and died in but it's not until I am with my Sis and my Mom's family that I can really feel her. My Mom was born in Calgary and our family traits are VERY strong, being with family brings me closer to Mom. In some ways it is comforting and in other ways it is incredibly sad. Maybe that's why our conversations are always so emotional?! πŸ€”

That night was tough. HBear's tummy doesn't travel well. She was up with me all night 😞. Rub belly, bathroom, rub belly, bathroom... Repeat. She ended up "sleeping" with Ninja and I on the queen sized blowup mattress 😳😁.

When we finally got up it had snowed even more! Now, if we (as in me) had thought of bringing boots, snow pants, and parkas along we totally could have went for a snowy hike or even tobogganing! But because I was apparently in winter denial and packed light (literally lol) we had to take our energetic little ones to the community centre drop in.

The kids had a blast! For $15 all 7 of us had full access to the soccer turf, the basketball courts, the walking track, workout equipment, skating rink and 5 blowup castles! The kids ran their asses off πŸ˜‚. 






The afternoon was spent in front of the fire napping and reading. HBear's belly still wasn't quite feeling right so she was a cuddle machine. We all bathed and got ready... For family pictures!

For Dad's birthday my Sis came up with the idea of hiring a photographer to take some family pictures. We chose a beginner photographer, Jilly's Photography because I love helping people expand their portfolio. We are easy so we are the perfect family to practice on 😊. Jillian was just getting back into town so we decided to do pictures at 5 pm. Not the best lighting for outside portraits 😜. So we asked her to take pictures of the family as we got ready for Thanksgiving/birthday dinner. We were fortunate enough to have a little bit of light left to take some family portraits across the street in front of the stunning Bow River. She also snapped pics of Dad opening gifts and individual "school pictures" of each of the girls. I can't wait to see them!


After a dinner of BBQ ribs and chicken, homemade macaroni salad, Greek salad, and homemade nan bread we feasted on ice cream cake and apple pie!

So basically what I'm saying is we ate all weekend and I will have to do double the steps next week to make up for it πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‚!

We left at 7am and drove through a winter wonderland. As the sun came up it made the mountains glow golden and the snow twinkle Like pixie dust. As soon as we crossed into BC it was like winter ended. All of a sudden the snow had melted, the sun's glorious rays burst over the mountain tops and the clouds parted giving way to endless blue skies.





Sitting in the sunshine as we drove through the mountains. I reflected on the past few days.

It was a fantastic weekend and it makes me realize all the things I am thankful for.

At the dinner table last night SBean said it best, "do you know what I'm thankful for? My family. I am thankful for my family. "


From my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving! May you always count you your blessings and always make your blessings count.



Sharon Harmatiuk October 11, 2016 at 9:57 PM  

Sigh...oh to live in BC! I hate snow and cold!
Looks like a wonderful family Thanksgiving!

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